Biermann gaining respect from Big Sky
If Kroy Biermann hadn't commanded due respect before last Saturday, he does now.
Montana's junior defensive end trumped his second player-of-the-week honors in the Big Sky Conference by being named a I-AA.org weekly all-star.
That happened because Biermann forced a fumble, recovered two and amassed eight tackles in the Grizzlies' 26-20 win at Portland State. He also had a sack and a quarterback hurry, and batted down a pass as UM held Portland State to 246 yards of offense.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Biermann has been wreaking havoc since he was a true freshman in 2004. The Grizzlies moved him from linebacker to their injury-stricken line and couldn't afford to redshirt him.
Biermann played in every game but one that year and was third on the team in tackles for loss. Last year he played in all 12 games. Although he started none of them, he had seven sacks. He also tied for the team lead with two fumble recoveries.
This year Biermann is listed as an either/or starter with senior Dustin Dlouhy, and he's been at left end on the first series in three of the four games. Both Biermann and Dlouhy started against Sacramento State, when right end Mike Murphy was out.
"It's usually based on production points, who plays better the week before," Biermann said of the starting nod. "It's really not a big deal to me. I'm more worried about playing time than starting, and I'm getting plenty of that."
An all-around athlete at Hardin, Biermann was a Class A all-state pick at linebacker as both a junior and a senior. He was an all-conference fullback in those years too, and handled the kicking and punting chores for the Bulldogs.
In the winter, he twice wrestled in state championship matches, first as an undersized heavyweight, then at the newly created 215 class as a senior. He lost both times.
Biermann earned eight letters at Hardin, including two in track, where hurdling was his best event.
A criminology major, Biermann is pondering futures in local law enforcement, the FBI or the Navy Seals.
Q. Where were you and what flashed through your mind when you heard Sacramento State beat Eastern Washington last Saturday?
A. I can't remember where I was at, but the first thing I thought of was they (the Eagles) had overlooked (Sac State) to get to us.
Q. In the media guide, Bobby Hauck describes you as "a nasty football player." Is that a term of endearment?
A. Probably. Probably. I'm sure he's referring to the fact that I've been known to have a motor and not stop and just go all the time. I'm not one to get pushed around or, you know, if somebody pisses me off, I'm not going to be one to lose it, but I'm definitely going to talk with my pads and let them know I'm there.
Q. You didn't get a redshirt year as a freshman. Any regrets?
A. No, not really. I might miss not spending another year with the team. I'm sure I'm going to miss that. This is a great group of guys. But I think as far as playing time … and the ability and skills I've developed are pretty well on schedule. Strength and size too."
Q. How would you describe the setting of the football field in Hardin?
A. It's right next to the high school. There's fairly good-sized bleachers, probably 60 yards long on the home side, probably 15 rows deep. The guest side is fairly small. It's a fairly nice field. They've done some renovations to it. There's brand new lights we had I think my senior year, and a brand new scoreboard that year, I think. It's an all-right field. It's got some hills and mounds but it's not too bad. It's kind of on the edge of town, the northwest side. If you're looking north you're looking at the high school. To your left is wheat fields. You've got the Big Horns in the distance (to the south)."
Q. What's a fond memory of a practice on that field?
A. Probably when I first discovered I could kick extra points and field goals. I ended up kicking a 52-yarder in practice, but I could never kick 'em in the game, I found out later.
Q. Do you miss wrestling?
A. Every once in a while I do. I find myself kind of wishing I could go onto the mat and wrestle with guys. It was fun while it lasted in high school. I only did it three years and did the best I could with it.
Q. Do you miss the high hurdles?
A. I would have to say probably not. I'm not one to like just running around. I'd rather chase a ball when I'm running.
Q. No one named Kroy appears in the the New York Times online archives for the past 25 years. How'd your name come about?
A. All of my family's first names begin with Ks. My dad is Keith. My mom's first name is Brenda but her middle name is Kathleen and everybody calls her Kathy. My older sisters are Krista (age 28) and Kelsey (24). When my parents were looking for K name, they couldn't think of anything, so they grabbed a phone book. It was the last name of couple who used to live in Laurel.
Q. Do you have athleticism in your genes?
A. I would say I do. My dad played basketball in college, my mom played tennis a little bit. Krista went off and played volleyball in college. She could have played anywhere she wanted to, but she decided to go to a smaller school in Iowa, a Christian academy. Then Kelsey also played volleyball at an NAIA school. She went to a school known for nursing, and she used her volleyball to get into nursing school.
Q. Pound for pound, Eastern Washington's offensive line is 20 pounds lighter than Portland State's was last week. Is that good news or bad news for a defensive end?
A. It could be good and bad. Good in a sense they won't be as hard, probably, to deal with on a running basis. They're lighter and it's easier for me as a defensive guy going against a guy who's not as heavy. It's bad in the sense that I'm sure they're a lot quicker, and they can pass drop somewhat better, and also get through their blocks better.
Q. When I called your number I got "Life Is A Highway" on your answering message. Freeway, two-lane or gravel road?
A. I would say a two-lane that turns into gravel, just for fact that I'm coming from a small town that I love, and all you ever did was drive on gravel roads. Now I live in MissoulA. I like it but don't like the hustle and bustle as much as in a small town.